Two Tips to Developing the Attitude of Gratitude

Grateful for a beautiful day!

This is an exciting time to be alive.  We are now learning that each of us has more control over our health, happiness and well-being than we ever thought possible.

Did you know this?  Scientists are now documenting (with serious tools like “before and after” blood draws) that the chemicals in our bodies will change when we say or do certain things.  And here’s the exciting part:  They have discovered that an “attitude of gratitude”, in other words, being grateful for the good things in our lives, creates good health and positive well-being.  Amazing, huh?!

The Attitude of Gratitude:

And How does this attitude do that? Well, repeatedly scientists found this:  First, if you do and say things that increase your “gratitude” level, you dump toxins.  In other words, notice what you like, and you’ll dump toxins.  Or talk about what you appreciate, or journal things you are grateful for, and again, you dump toxins.  Second, if you do “gratitude-increasing” activities, as you dump those toxins, you will now produce and release chemicals that create mental and physical happiness and health.  Wow!  Focus on gratitude, and be happy and healthy.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Sure.  It is very simple.

But is it always easy?  Of course not.  It is Not always easy.  We might be dealing with large amounts of personal change, stress from home or work, or even a life crisis, and that means it requires extra effort on  our part.  But the positive outcome will make that extra effort really worth it.

And now, here are two tips that will help us move firmly into the health and happiness-giving “attitude of gratitude”:

Tip One:  Notice What Thoughts are Renting Space in Your Brain:

This is where it helps to remember this:  “No one can think inside your head except you.”  Say you’re dealing with a “crazy-time” in your life.  What are you telling yourself about it?  Are you looking for any positives? Looking forward to when this will be over? Are you looking for any bad jokes you can make about it? (That’s my favorite.)  Or are you now a charter member of the “Ain’t It Awful?!” club?  Whatever thoughts you are choosing are the foundation of your attitude, and you get to choose your thoughts (or “re-choose” – dump the old and pick new ones).

Tip Two:  Use These Two Tools to Make Your “Attitude of Gratitude” a Daily Habit:

Tool One:  Each night before you go to sleep, write down ten things you are grateful for that day.  Keep the list in a journal.  (and it’s nice to review your lists sometimes and remind yourself of all you have to be grateful for.)  This helps us notice what’s right in our lives, too, as we go through the day.  It can even help us choose new thoughts: “I have So Many dishes to wash.” becomes “How lucky I am to have so many lovely dishes!”

Tool Two:  At least once a week, Take an “awe” walk in nature.  This means you find a lovely natural spot – a garden, a park, a hiking trail.  As you walk, take pauses and deliberately notice and be grateful for the beauty around you.  Notice how refreshed you feel at the end of your awe walk.  It’s creates such a peaceful internal feeling.

And now you have a choice to make about your own attitude.  If you choose an attitude of gratitude, you’ll be healthier and happier……What an Excellent choice! Way to Go!

 

 

2 comments

  1. Andrea Williams says:

    “Turn lemons into lemonade” is a saying we’ve all heard or read, and here Terry is, giving a specific example (“so many dishes to wash” into “lucky to have them”). I will do my best for the next week to turn each negative thought into a corollary positive one. For example, I now live in Port Angeles, Washington (where the average summer day hovers around 70 degrees, and I like warm). So when one day reaches 67 degrees, instead of silently bemoaning the cold, I’ll think of how nice the clean air is, and be grateful for that.

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